The National Council on Aging has reported that elder abuse is often unreported, with as few as only 1 in every 14 instances of abuse being reported. Yet, statistics provided by the same agency show that 1 in 10 has been abused in some way or another. 60% of those perpetrating the abuse are family members and one-third of those are a spouse or adult children. Catching abuse or neglect when the elder may be too scared or be unable to speak for themselves becomes an issue. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports on a new program targeting catching abuse when it happens.
A program just begun in northeastern Wisconsin is hoping to help keep senior citizens living in the state safe.
Using cameras supplied by the Department of Justice, local law enforcement agencies are hoping to catch elder abuse as it happens.
The Safe Seniors program launched on Tuesday and allows residents of Brown, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties to use a covert camera for 30 days if they are concerned about potential elder abuse.
Those participating in the program are required to save what is recorded each day and immediately report anything that might seem as though it is misconduct to authorities.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said that there were more than 7,000 reported cases of elder abuse or neglect in 2016.
A similar program begun by the Attorney General’s Office in New Jersey was successful and prompted Wisconsin legislators to give the program a try in their state. While it currently only encompasses the above-mentioned counties, success could mean expanding the program.